Honey Extraction

Burchick Residence, Clarksville, MD

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Beekeepers Mark Burchick, Ned Wall, Jim Chaisson and Don Littleton.  It was 90-degrees and humid at game time.

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What a beautiful frame!

We checked all six of the hives and took out 12 frames of capped honey comb.  We have at least another 12 frames that have not been capped (covered/sealed in wax) that are in the drying process, awaiting to be capped by the bees.

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This photo is an example of a fully incorporated frame, heavy with honey on both sides.

We used a hot knife to skim-off the wax cover to reveal the honey.  The alternative method is to scratch the comb with a rake tool to break-up the wax cover, before placing the frame into the spinner.

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Once the ax is removed, the frames then go into our stainless steel spinner and all of the honey is flailed to the sides of the autoclave and drains out of the bottom side and into a screened, food-grade five-gallon bucket.

Jim sells his wax to a Howard County beekeeper who specializes in making candles and molds.

We generated about three gallons (20-pounds) of high quality organic honey, and will do that again in two to three weeks from now.  I’ll screen my portion of the honey one more time prior to being placed into individual glass bottles and labeled.

The three best looking bottles will be entered into the Howard County Fair for judging.  I’ll let you know how I do.

Jim and I purchased a used hand-cranked drum extractor, and this was our opportunity  to try it out for our first time.  Let’s do this again in a few weeks from now, which will then complete the 2012 season, after which we will go into bee hive maintenance mode, providing supplemental sugar syrup as needed.

 

 

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